Oven Stew of Lamb

This is my attempt to capture the flavors of Portugal—my favorite foreign country—in a single recipe; it's an easy stew and just the thing for a chilly night. Prep: 30 minutes; Cook: 20 minutes; Bake: 2 hours.

Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings
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Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 pounds boneless leg of lamb, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (3.5-ounce) package prosciutto, finely diced
  • 2 yellow onions, cut into eighths
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 large red bell peppers, seeded and sliced into 2-inch pieces
  • 8 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 2 1/2 cups dry red wine (such as Merlot)
  • 2 cups converted rice, cooked according to package directions*

Preparation

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Season lamb with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Combine flour, remaining 2 teaspoons salt, paprika, and ground black pepper in large heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag. Add 6 lamb chunks to bag, seal, and shake well. Place lamb pieces on a large baking sheet, and repeat until all lamb is dredged.
  2. 2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large Dutch oven for 2 minutes over high heat, add prosciutto, and brown 2 minutes; remove to baking sheet. Brown lamb in 3 batches in Dutch oven, allowing 2 to 3 minutes per side per batch and adding remaining oil as needed. Remove browned lamb chunks to baking sheet.
  3. 3. Add onion and next 4 ingredients, and sauté in drippings 2 minutes. Return lamb, prosciutto, and any loose dredging flour to Dutch oven; add wine, and bring to a boil.
  4. 4. Transfer to lower third of oven, cover, and bake at 350° for 2 hours or until lamb is fork-tender. Remove bay leaves, and add more salt and pepper, if desired. Serve over warm, cooked rice.
  5. *For testing purposes, we used Uncle Ben's Converted Original. It tastes a lot like white rice but provides more nutrients.
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